Police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said Ashley Mayepi was re-arrested in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, on Thursday.
He had been on the run for five days after his escape on Saturday. Mayepi, 27, from Malawi, had been arrested for house breaking he allegedly committed in June this year, and was awaiting his court appearance in the police holding cells in Hartbeespoort Dam police station, along with other detainees.
“During his arrest he was found with an item which may have assisted them to tamper with the locking system which led to their escape,” said Ramaloko.
A search for his accomplices was ongoing. Mayepi escaped together with Nicholas Masipa, 27, from Zimbabwe, Phillip Masingili, 33, also known as “Louis Fabian” from Mozambique, Samuel Mariti, 27, a South African and Anthony Chauke, 32, from Mozambique.
“Mayepi’s arrest is an achievement to us, his arrest will assist us to reverse the sequence of events which led to their escape. We know for the fact that his accomplices, Masipa, Masingili, Mariti, and Chauke who are still at large do not have peaceful sleeps, in as much as we do not. But they will, one by one, return to where they belong – police custody,” said the Major General Jacob Tsumane, North West acting provincial commissioner.
Mayepi would face an additional charge of escaping from lawful custody and would appear in Brits Magistrate’s court soon.